Out of Earthen Vessels

In order to partake of the “hidden manna” that God has stored up for overcomers (Revelation 2:17), we must reach below the surface manna; that is we must find the golden treasure of the Lord’s presence beneath the surface information of the Scriptures. It is there that we feast on the Lord and find our adamic nature giving way to His divine nature. Paul told the Ephesians that God was making known unto us the mystery of His will (Ephesians 1:9); “us” being those who are hungry for the hidden manna. The mystery of His will is not revealed to those who are satisfied with the surface manna. To them it is hidden and has been from ages and generations. Then Paul told the Colossians that God had made him a minister to fulfill the Word of God, even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:26-27). The mystery of His will is Christ in us! But that doesn’t happen simply because we have repented of our sins and have been forgiven. The process of the Lord’s presence and nature coming forth in us takes place as we partake of Him. He is the hidden manna below the surface manna.

This truth of Christ coming forth in us is presented in hundreds of various ways in the Scriptures. We will touch on one in this message.

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Three steps are mentioned here. (1) God formed man of the dust of the ground. (2) God breathed into man the breath of life – His life, that is, and that takes place as man partakes of the hidden manna. (3) As a result, man becomes a living soul, and the word “living” here is referring to divine life, not human life.

God formed man of the dust of the ground. The Hebrew word for “ground” is adamah. It is the word from which the name Adam is derived. Because of the way God has formed us, we are earthen vessels. For that reason, we understand that many times when the Scriptures speak of the earth they are not only speaking of the terrestrial earth but also of man. So, we are going to look at a few passages of Scripture where the word “earth” refers both to the natural earth and also spiritually of man – not mankind, but man as it is used in Ephesians 4:13: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

Matthew 6:9-10 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
10 Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Is it the will of God for His Kingdom to be established in the earth? Yes, it is. When we pray this prayer – Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth, as in heaven – we should declare it with faith. However, it will not be very effective if His Kingdom is not first established in us. We are earthen vessels, and His Kingdom must first come forth in us. Then our prayer will be a proclamation that God uses to establish His Kingdom on the earth. However, not much will happen until there are those who will say, “Lord, bring forth Your Kingdom in us and use us as channels through which You might establish it on earth.” God works through people. He works through people who will say as Isaiah did, “Here am I, Lord; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Isaiah was presenting himself to the Lord as a channel, which is exactly what the Lord was wanting.

Mark 9:31 For He taught His disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; and after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day.

Jesus is speaking here of His death, burial, and resurrection. He will be in an earthen tomb for three days and on the third day He will rise. His resurrection on the third day became a historical fact. He was crucified, in a tomb for three days, and on the third day He arose. Now let’s look at another passage in the Gospel of Mark where it seems that Jesus is speaking of this same event to His disciples again.

Mark 10:33-34 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles:
34 And they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He shall rise again.

This time Jesus gives more details concerning the events leading up to His crucifixion. The interesting thing here is when He speaks of His resurrection. (Keep in mind that it is not unusual for a prophecy to contain truth concerning two different time periods or two different events.) In the previous verse (9:31), Jesus said that He would rise on the third day, but in this verse He spoke differently of His resurrection. This time He said that on “the third day He shall rise again.” Now, Jesus cannot rise again unless He has risen once already. Therefore, we understand Mark 9:31 to be speaking of His resurrection on the third day after His crucifixion, and Mark 10:34 to be speaking of His resurrection in His saints. II Thessalonians 1:10 speaks of the Lord coming to be glorified in His saints. That is speaking of a spiritual coming, of course, when His presence comes forth in His saints and He will be manifested through their lives which will be a spiritual resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What about the third day? That is spiritual, too. It is symbolic of the time when He is unseen in His many-membered Body until He is manifested through them. The manifestation of the sons of God spoken of in Romans 8:19 is really a manifestation of the Son in the sons. Now let’s look at a similar scripture in Matthew’s Gospel.

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

In this verse Jesus presents Jonah’s experience in the whale’s belly as a prophetic type of His burial. After Jesus was crucified His body was “laid in a new tomb” (Matthew 27:60). That tomb was not in the heart of the earth. Yet, Jesus speaks here of being three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. He is not speaking of the literal earth but of the heart of earthen vessels – His saints. Again, the three days and nights are symbolic of the time that He is hidden in the heart of His saints until His manifestation. Hosea prophesied of this time.

Hosea 6:1-3 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.
2 After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.
3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

He shall come unto us (earthen vessels) as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. This is the same spiritual coming that Paul speaks of in II Thessalonians 1:10 – When He shall come to be glorified in His saints…. The three days are not literal days; they are three realms of relationship with the Lord. In the first two days He is coming forth in us, invading our lives and establishing His Kingdom. The third day is the day of His resurrection; He rises up in us and we are raised up with Him. Then we can say, He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). Let’s look at one more scripture.

John 2:18-21 Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, What sign showest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?
21 But He spake of the temple of His body.

When Jesus spoke of the temple, the Jews thought He was talking about Herod’s temple. They did not have the spiritual capacity to understand His words and because they didn’t have a heart to follow Him, He didn't explain it to them. He was not speaking of Herod’s temple but the temple of His body. The temple of His physical body was raised three days after His crucifixion. What about the temple of His many-membered Body? It, too, will be raised up on the third day, for that is when He will rise again – out of earthen vessels.

Copyright © 2002 by Henry DuBose